Tag Archives: storm

For Those in Peril


‘For those in peril out at sea’ – the hymn of choice for we who know
How cruel the pounding waves can be along this callous, battered coast.
And, yet for all of that, I saw four fishermen at Anchorsholme
In combat with the thunderous storm, in oilskins, drenched to the bone
By deafening waves, still wheeling out their eight-foot wooden fishing smack
The wall of foaming, angry surf inhaling shingle, fighting back.
Then came the wave, at thirty foot in height it grabbed the flimsy prow
And hurled the vessel with such hate it landed, broken, upside down,
With all its would-be crew beneath; provisions for the voyage ahead
Now tossed and scattered on the plaster mountains of the storm instead.
And one by one, like drowning rats emerging breathless from the swell,
The fishermen, in rictus grins, fell scrambling amongst the shells.
And as the tide let out another roar and threw the wreck aloft,
The skipper, terrified, called out: “Per’aps wi’d better call it off.”


Caught in the Downpour

caught in the downpour

The storm clouds gathered overhead and turned the afternoon to night,
In sagging udders, blue and black, as through the muted shadow light,
Where shafts of yellow drained the colour from the thickly painted road,
We drove beneath the tempest’s hem. “The safest place to be, I’m told
Is in a car when lightning strikes,” I said with some authority.
Then heard the crack shred through the air and echo round eternity,
Its sails catching on the fells, and bouncing back in rifle shots.
“Or so I’m told,” I found myself repeating. “Or perhaps it’s not.”
Then splashes thicker than my thumbs fell smeared across the car’s windscreen.
They gathered in momentum as the lanes around us turned to steam,
The coldness rushing up our legs, the smell of earth caught in its wake.
And in the bonnet-pounding crush I almost stood up on the brakes,
As one almighty deluge struck, a flood of such viscosity,
We couldn’t see outside at all. We stopped there. Dead! And lost at sea,
We hoped that in the waterfall no other cars would rear end
Our own, as lightning tore the clouds, and struck the signpost on the bend.

The Ocean Drunk


The ocean’s spoiling for a fight.
It’s crashed and boomed and roared all night
And kept the harbour town awake
With all the threatening noise it makes.
Its massive, gaping, foam-flecked maw
Keeps sucking gravel from the shore
Then smacking shut like lead on lead.
It’s torn its shoulders into shreds,
And bruised the sagging clouds then, hunching,
Rammed the cliff face – kicking, punching!
Breaking stanchions from the pier.
This ocean’s drunk, so don’t go near.

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